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EPL: Wolverhampton at Sunderland

28 September 2009 No Comment

My entire day was planned for Sunday. I was taking a morning train from Edinburgh to Newcastle, taking the metro over to Sunderland, attending the Wolverhampton at Sunderland game at 4 pm, heading back to the Newcastle train station where I was taking the train to Manchester Sunday evening. The best part of the journey was that the train would only cost me one day on my BritRail pass. The worst part was that I was not sure if the conductor on the train would accept my rail pass from Edinburgh to Newcastle (I had only booked the English BritRail pass which does not include Scotland).

Train from Edinburgh to Newcastle
I took the 9:30 am train from Edinburgh to Newcastle Sunday morning. Again the train from Edinburgh to Newcastle has some of the most beautiful views in the world as it runs along the North Sea. My fear of the conductor charging me the one way fare from Edinburgh to Berwick-upon-Tweed were relieved when the woman checked my rail pass and moved along.

Newcastle Train Station
As was the case on Thursday, I had my luggage with me so I needed to check it at the train station. This time I needed to check my backpack as well since I would not have six hours of cricket to watch with my bags by my side. I was planning to wander around Sunderland.

After checking my bags I determined that the easiest route to Sunderland was via subway to the Stadium of Light station in Sunderland.

Obtaining Tickets
After about 30 minutes on the subway, I arrived at the Stadium of Light and walked to the ticketing center to find out the ticket cost. The cheapest seat was £22. They also had a £27 ticket. Rather than deal with scalpers, I decided to buy the £22 ticket ahead of time and go hang out in downtown Sunderland before the game.

Pre Game Dining
I decided it was quicker to walk to downtown Sunderland than go back and take the train. Once I got to the main corner of downtown Sunderland, I had a few choices of where to eat lunch and hang out. My choices were Yates’s Wine Lounge, The William Jameson or Sinatro’s. Yates’s Wine Lounge had the best food and drink specials so I chose that restaurant.

After lunch I walked back to the stadium where I went to the pub that was across the street – The Colliery Tavern. This place was overcrowded as the crowd spilled out into the grass that surrounded the pub.

The Game
Sunderland took a 2-0 lead on penalty kicks. Wolverhampton came back with two goals of their own at the 50th and 55th minute to tie the game 2-2. At this point it looked as though the game might by close but Sunderland scored three more goals before the end of the game to win 5-2.

In the 55th minute, Kevin Doyle scored a goal on an indirect free kick from within the penalty box about six yards away from the goal line. I was unaware this could happen in soccer but I do now.

After one of the goals, Sunderland players jumped over the railing into the stands to celebrate with the fans. As this was going on some fans came onto the pitch to celebrate as well and were immediately ejected from the stadium. For the rest of the game, fans were arguing with security over why the fans were ejected since the players came into the stands first.

Metro after the Game
Something I learned the hard way is that the metro does not stop at the St. James stop after the game. Probably because most fans would go to St. James to get on and beat the crowd getting on at Stadium of Light. It only stops at the Stadium of Light stop or the city center. Rather than walk to the Stadium of Light stop, I walked to the City Center in order to beat the crowd. However, the City Center stop was not a time saver. Subway personnel ran one train directly to the Stadium of Light stop and did not allow anyone from the City Center stop to get on. Since the city center is further than the Stadium of Light from the stadium, I would recommend waiting in the line at the Stadium of Light stop rather than heading to the city center.

Train to Manchester
I made it back to the Newcastle train station in time to take the 7:09 pm train to Manchester. I picked up my luggage, bought some Burger King and took a nap on my three hour voyage way to Manchester.

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